12m GOAL FANS NAME MESSI AND PUTELLAS THE BEST PLAYERS IN THE WORLD IN GOAL50 FAN VOTE
Argentina captain and recently crowned World Cup winner Lionel Messi has been named the best male player in the world by topping this year’s GOAL50 list. Messi is joined by two-time Ballon d’Or winner and Barcelona and Spain striker Alexia Putellas who won the women’s award.
Both players topped last year’s GOAL50 poles in their respective categories.
More than 12 million votes were cast by fans in GOAL’s annual poll celebrating the best male and female players in the world.
This year, to celebrate the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a third category asked fans to name the best player to ever appear at a World Cup. Diego Maradona topped the pole with Brazilian pair Pele and Ronaldo Nazario in second and third place, respectively.
Voting opened on November 15 this year and closed after the 2022 FIFA World Cup Final, which saw the eventual GOAL50 men’s winner, Lionel Messi, captain Argentina to World Cup glory.
The 50 players in contention for all three lists were decided by GOAL’s hundreds of journalists across its 35 local editions.
The 2022 GOAL50 is the 15th time the poll has taken place, with previous winners of the men’s award including Robert Lewandowski, Virgil van Dijk, Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Wesley Sneijder.
Previous winners of the women’s award include Alexia Putellas (2021), Pernille Harder (2020) and Megan Rapinoe (2019).
Fans voted using a bespoke head-to-head voting tool that had them choosing between randomly generated pairs of players and being asked which player performed best in 2022.
More than nine million votes were logged for the men’s voting and more than one million for the women’s, with one million voting for in the World Cup Wonders list.
The full GOAL50 lists can be found on GOAL.